Grantee Research

What High-Impact Practices Work for Minoritized Students? Institutional Inequities in College Learning Opportunities and Outcomes

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



diverse campus environment, undergraduate students, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status


This mixed-methods study examines what high-impact practices (HIPs) help improve the chances of college and career success among minoritized students. Building on transformative and ecological perspectives of HIPs, the study tracks U.S. 4-year college students’ learning opportunities towards bachelor’s degree completion followed by job employment or graduate/professional school enrollment. It explores a more comprehensive and diverse set of HIPs: academic and sociocultural engagement, study abroad, foreign language, co-op/internship, student teaching, advanced math and writing courses, research, and volunteer activities. Statistical analyses of the Beginning Postsecondary Students (BPS) data reveal racial and socioeconomic inequities in HIP participation among different types of institutions, with relatively favorable opportunities and outcomes in private or research (doctorate-granting) universities. The qualitative analyses of college student interviews offer insights into the questions of why and how HIPs work (or not) for minoritized students. The study gives evidence-based policy guidelines for improving minoritized students’ college and career success by tackling institutional inequities in high-impact practices and learning opportunities.